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April 27, 2012
A cursory glance at the Rivals.com profile of Cypress (Texas) Cypress Woods outside linebacker Deoundrei Davis will reveal that the first article written about the four-star player was in mid-February of this year.
In the weeks that followed, Davis went from relative unknown to the No. 15 player at his position in the country. With the release of his highlight tape came college offers - and then his commitment to in-state Texas. He was then offered a chance to participate in the U.S. Army All-American Game and lastly, the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge come June.
For some it would have been a whirlwind but according to Davis it was just a matter of time.
"I have always expected great things for myself," he said. "It didn't bother me that it took as long as it did because I knew what my abilities were.
"I knew I would get noticed. I knew it would happen."
His first college offer was from the Oklahoma Sooners on Valentine's Day and less than two weeks later he was a proud member of the Longhorns.
The chance to compete at the inaugural invitation-only camp at Atlanta's Lakewood Stadium on June 22-24 was met with a similar surprise and confidence.
"It is great that people think highly enough of me to invite me out to the event," he said. "Now it is time to show them that they made the right decision."
Davis said that he enjoys the camp and combine circuit, and that his time on the 7-on-7 field is of a particular favorite for him.
"It is a team thing and we all want to win," he said. "But it is an individual event, too. You are in coverage and you have your man and the eyes are on you."
The Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge will present the most eyes at one time that have been present to evaluate Davis as the full Rivals.com team of analysts and videographers will be in attendance.
The time Davis spent out of the spotlight is certainly over.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder said that he thinks that his time spent under the radar will give him a competitive advantage over those players who have been in the spotlight for years.
"I am always going to be hungry," he said. "I wasn't given anything and didn't have a bunch of hype. I had to work hard to earn everything I have now. I wouldn't allow myself to give up or slow down in anything. Now that I have the chance to prove myself I want to go out there and be the best. I don't think all those other guys are going to be as hungry as me.
"I have respect for them all, but I am hungry and aggressive and people will see that."
In a field full of players that have been determined to be the best of the best, it is that confidence that Davis will rely on to push himself forward to be the best at his position.
"I am confident in myself and always have been," he said. "I really think that if I keep going the sky is the limit."
Mike Farrell's take
Davis is one of the players I am most looking forward to seeing because he came out of nowhere essentially and his film is so impressive that it's clear to see why he blew up so quickly. He's a big linebacker already with room to grow and he is so athletic that he sometimes looks like he could play running back, tight end or wide receiver if he wanted, as well as any linebacker position. His quickness and closing speed will be key for his team at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge and he's the kind of player who could stand out in 7-on-7 play that often puts linebackers at a disadvantage.